Raw foods are made from organic whole foods. Of course, when you are busy it can be quite a challenge because raw organic ingredients are less available and the preparation in raw recipes can sometimes appear daunting.
Here is some quick explanations of some of the ingredients what I using really often:
– Young Thai Coconuts ( green coconut with a clear, gelatinous meat and water inside) are a popular ingredient in many raw food recipes. Young coconuts are used in many dishes, including desserts, salads, ice cream and smoothies… ) You can find them at Whole Foods, Asian markets.
– Coconut water just like coconut oil and coconut milk, provides you with many benefits and can even be used as a natural sports drink.
– Coconut palm nectar
– Coconut palm sugar
Coconut sugar is also called Coconut Palm Sugar. It’s low-glycemic, has a pleasant caramel-like flavour, works well for baking and dissolves in hot and cold liquids. Coconut sugar’s nutritional profile includes amino acids, potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron and vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B6.
– Virgin Coconut oil
People who really know about health know about virgin coconut oil ( the healthiest oil in the word ) used in everything from smoothies to personal care products. In raw foods recipe as a stabilizer and source of delicious plant-based fats.
I get asked a lot, what is coconut butter and how does it differ from coconut oil? Coconut oil is made from pressing the oil from dried coconut flesh, whilst ↓
– Coconut butter
Made from raw dried shredded coconut. When you puree the shredded coconut the coconut oil and coconut meat mix together and turn into a butter spread. ( can be used in place of butter )
– Coconut milk
Homemade coconut milk made from dried coconut, pure water, vanilla bean, salt.
– Coconut cream/milk from can (always get the full-fat variety)
Coconut cream is very similar to coconut milk but contains less water. It has a thicker, more paste-like consistency, while coconut milk is generally a liquid.
By refrigerating, the fat will separate from the water, allowing you to use only the solid cream from the top.
– Creamed Coconut
Creamed coconut is a pure coconut made into a creamy paste and sold in the form of a hard white block. You can use coconut butter as a substitute in a 1:1 ratio in most recipes that call for creamed coconut.
* Coconut flour
Pulp can be dehydrated until dry, give it a quick spin in the blender and you have lovely raw coconut flour.
– Lucuma powder
Made from whole Peruvian lucuma fruit that has been dried at low temperatures and milled into a fine powder. Naturally sweet, low in fat and high in fibre, helps control sugar levels in the blood. Rich in carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals such as iron, this exotic fruit help reduce bad cholesterol levels and helps with hemoglobin production.
– Baobab powder
Baobab fruit powder is simply one of the most nutritious foods on earth. It is low in sugar and fat yet high in fibre. It contains more than 12 minerals and vitamins, but is particularly rich in vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium. Baobab is also packed with antioxidants.
– Maca powder
Maca, a root that belongs to the radish family, is most commonly available in powder form. Grown in the mountains of Peru, it has been called Peruvian ginseng. Maca’s benefits have been long valued, and has recently been popularized as a supplement and food ingredient. Maca is rich in vitamin B vitamins, C, and E. It provides plenty of calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and amino acids.
– Spirulina powder
Spirulina has the highest protein and beta-carotene levels of all green superfoods and also has naturally occurring GLA (Gamma Linolenic Acid), a popular fatty acid with numerous health benefits. In addition, it is the highest known vegetable source of B-12 and has naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, trace elements, cell salts, amino acids and enzymes.
– Matcha powder
Matcha powdered green tea has 137 times more antioxidants than regularly brewed green tea. Provides a long-lasting energy boost of 4-8 hour, relaxes the nervous system and increases focus and concentration, over 10 times the nutrients of your regular steeped green tea, contains 9 times the beta-carotene of spinach, full of vitamins, minerals and amino acids, increases your metabolism, controls your hunger pangs, has almost no calories …
– Raw cacao powder
Excellent source of antioxidants, raw cacao contain good amounts phenolic acids which protect the body from free radicals. Contains high levels of iron, good source of dietary fiber which helps regulate the digestive track. Good source of magnesium which helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong. Raw cacao powder has more than 300 beneficial compounds.
– Raw cacao butter
Cacao butter is one of the most stable fats known to man. It has a high concentration of antioxidants, including vitamin E, which prevents it from becoming rancid. Raw cacao butter
– Cacao nibs
Excellent source of antioxidants, raw cocoa contain good amounts ferulic acid and flavonoids which protect the body from free radicals. Contains high levels of iron, good source of dietary fiber which helps regulate the digestive track. Good source of magnesium which helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong. Cacao beans naturally contain high amounts of procyanidins which can help lower high blood pressure
– Carob powder
Carob powder is the perfect natural alternative to cocoa. Richer in calcium and fiber, carob also does not contain the stimulants found naturally in cocoa, such as caffeine and theobromine. Carob is a good source of dietary fiber, and helps the digestive track as it is an antidiarrheal agent. It is an excellent source of calcium and phosphorus, two nutrients that aid in the formation and maintenance of bones and teeth. Carob powder is also a good source of iron, which helps the formation of red blood cells.
– Bee pollen
Blossom which are collected by the honey bees and mixed with the bees digestive enzymes. It’s a blend of sticky pollen granules that could contain up to five million pollen spores each. It is considered one of nature’s most completely nourishing foods. These tiny pollens contain almost all the nutrients required by the human body and are enormously rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals, beneficial fatty acids, carotenoids, and bioflavonoids which are anti-viral, antibacterial and helpful in lowering cholesterol, stabilizing and strengthening capillaries. Pollen is the only plant source that contains the exclusive vitamin B12. In addition, bee pollen is a natural antibiotic in which bacteria simply cannot exist, providing increased resistance to infection. Antibiotic factors present in the pollen have been proven effective against E. coli, proteus, and salmonella organisms.
– Goji berry
This nutrient-rich berry has an impressive nutritional profile. Rich in vitamins, minerals, protein and antioxidants, Goji berries also have amazing anti-aging properties that have been used in Chinese medicine for centuries to treat pain and stimulate the immune system. Contains 18 different amino acids, 21 minerals and trace elements such as zinc, iron, selenium, copper and phosphorus, more protein than whole wheat and more beta-carotene than carrots, Goji berries helps with bone and teeth growth, strengthens the immune system, helps reduce blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar levels in the blood. Improves calcium assimilation and stabilizes the liver. Excellent source of antioxidants, Goji berries have anti-inflammatory properties.
Grains & seeds
– Chia seeds
Chia is a gluten-free superfood with more Omega-3 than any other seed. Chia seeds nutritional value its unique richness in calcium, protein, and fiber. Chia has a high concentrate of antioxidants, which reduces the negative effects of free radicals., rich in fiber, which aids in regulating the digestive track. Rich in vitamin B, calcium, iron, potassium, vitamin C, magnesium and zinc are also found in chia seeds.
Quinoa is an important source of protein and ideal for vegetarians and vegans. Good source of minerals such as iron, calcium, phosphorus and selenium, this ancient superseed is an excellent source of trace element, vitamin B & E and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Good source of iron, this super grain is excellent for cell, hormone and neurotransmitter regeneration.
Good source of dietary fiber, this grain helps maintain optimal digestive track and help lower risks of colon cancer.
Oat, oatmeal and oat bran are significant sources of dietary fiber. This fiber contains a mixture of about half soluble and half insoluble fibers. One component of the soluble fibre found in oats is beta-glucans, a soluble fiber which has proven effective in lowering blood cholesterol. Oats, like other cereal grains, are valued primarily as a source of carbohydrates which provide calories for energy needs. Oats have a higher concentration of well-balanced protein than other cereals. Good source of essential vitamins such as thiamin, folic acid, biotin, pantothenic acid and vitamin E. They also contain zinc, selenium, copper, iron, manganese and magnesium.
– Linseeds / Flax seeds
Linseeds (also known as Flax seeds) are a great source of gluten/wheat free fibre. Fibre is important in the prevention of bowel cancer, constipation and slowing the absorption of sugar into our blood stream.
– Milled Flax seeds
Highest source of Phytoestrogen of all seeds, flax seeds help reduce menopausal symptoms as well as helps with constipation or people suffering from gastritis and enteritis. Ground then eaten to absorb all its benefits, flax seeds are low in saturated fats and help reduce cholesterol levels in the blood. Good source of Omega 3, flax seeds help lower anxiety leves and preserve good memory functions, good source of antioxydants, flax helps build the immune system and ward of free radicals.
– Hemp seeds
Ideal content of Omega 3 and 6 nutrients, hemp is particularly rich in essential amino acids. The hemp seed is exceptionally nutritious and beneficial for the human body. It is very rich in protein. Good source of calcium and iron among other minerals. It contains antioxidants including cysteine, carotene (vitamin A) and tocopherols (vitamin E) that work synergistically to restore and moisturize dry skin, and to maintain eye health and structure of cell membranes. Help to prevent or reduce inflammatory problems, arthritis, asthma, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, hormonal disorders like the ones related to menopause. It has also been associated with the prevention of autoimmune diseases, obesity and cancer.
Protein packed gluten free seed, buckwheat is rich in soluble fiber that helps to regulate the digestive track and helps better absorb nutrients in the intestine. Excellent source of magnesium and calcium. Excellent source of copper that helps form hemoglobin and collagen. Good source of prebiotics, a nutrient that helps with growth and maintain good bacteria levels in the intestine.
– Pink himalayan salt
Himalayan salt is mined from ancient sea beds, unadulterated, so it is pure from modern environmental toxins. It provides 84 trace minerals, free of any additives or anti-caking agents.
– Agar- agar ( thickener )
Agar actually has some great health benefits even though it isn’t a raw product. It is a good source of calcium and iron, and is very high in fiber .
– Psyllium husk ( thickener )
It is a plant derived soluble fiber. Pure psyllium seed husk contains no gluten.
– Nutritional yeast ( inactive yeast with a very cheesy flavor )
Nutritional yeast is rich in vitamins, especially the B-complex vitamins. Good source of protein, containing essential amino acids.
– Lecithin ( ! from non-GM soya beans )
When preparing raw food recipes a time will come when you need to thicken a recipe. Lecithin replaces eggs in the “cooked world”. You can find 100% pure Lecithin granulates at health food stores.
– Irish moss
Also know as seaweed, rich in calcium and other essential vitamins and minerals. It is used as a thickening agent for soups, cakes, ice cream ….
– Pandan leaves
Pandan is something that is perhaps not as well known as it should be outside of Asian cooking. It is a leaf that is absolutely power packed with tannins, anti-oxidants and alkaloids, all essential for the health and strength of the immune system and good tonics for anyone suffering from issues with their bladder, as it can help maintain regularity and ease any discomfort. They are also an excellent choice for anyone who is feverish or suffering from such illnesses as an ear infection or chest discomfort due to a cough or cold. The leaves can be chewed raw or turned into a soothing juice to help with toothache or bleeding gums as they will numb pain and have an anti-bacterial effect. The pandan juice has an intense green color that resembles wheatgrass juice.
– Tahini ( paste made from ground, hulled sesame seeds )
– Tamari ( gluten-free soy sauce )
– Organic Miso paste
– Apple cider vinegar
– Rose water
– Dried hibiscus flowers
– Dried rose buds
– Dried orange blossoms